Excellence Vs Mediocrity
Sooner or later everyone comes to a fork in the road in life.
Two paths lie before you. One is heavily forested, with dirt roads, animals, bandits and natural disasters.
Nobody takes this road…the few who were never seen again. You notice the entrance is unmarked and the road is so unused that grass has grown over it.
The other path is well traveled. Gigantic billboards and bright neon signs litter the landscape.
It’s freshly paved, there are police stations and hospitals, plenty of fast-food joints, night clubs, pretty women plenty of friends, alcohol and all the drugs you could possibly consume.
You look at the line. It stretches as far as the eyes can see. Everyone seems to be following the person in front of them. It seems like the safe bet.
Why else would so many people be on it? Surely they must know something that you don’t.
1) The Path to Mediocrity aka The Beaten Path.
The Path to mediocrity is paved, with plenty of stops, hotels, and shops on the way.
Mediocre n. – of only moderate quality, not very good.
There are plenty of attractions and distractions.
All the Junk Food, Video Game’s, Porn, Alcohol and distractions you can handle!
There are amusement parks and casinos for you. Also, there are drug dealers and money loaners everywhere too. Want to watch movies or just take a little “break”?
There are arcades and movie theaters too.
Did I mention the path is downhill and super-easy to walk?
At this point, the beaten path may sound like a steal.
It IS a STEAL.
After all, 99% of people go down it. It’s well paved. Entertaining. Low risk. Fun. Popular. Everyone else is taking it, it must be the right way to go.
Here’s the problem. You can’t STEAL from nobody. There is always an OWNER you STEAL from.
When you choose the beaten path, you ROB yourself.
You ROB yourself of the person you could have been, the life you could have lived. At the end of the beaten path you are greeted to the ULTIMATE prize at the finish line.
Everyone else is waiting for you, cheering you on.
Finally, you reach the end. You are pulled in by the crowd into the middle, where you finally claim you’re rightfully earned prize.
Your prize is a small box. You open the box to reveal a small white card.
As you examine it, you notice the following written in faded ink. The card looks worse for the wear, with a yellowed tint, wrinkles & creases . Almost as if thousands of other people have touched it.
Looks like some other a-hole opened your prize! What a JERK.
You begin to read the
WELCOME TO THE FLOCK.
COOPERATE WHEN YOU ARE SENT TO “WORK” AT THE SHEEP PROCESSING FACTORY
RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.
PLEASE ENJOY YOUR STAY.
-HEAD SLAUGHTERHOUSE MANAGER JOHN DOE.
You resign yourself to grazing over the few scraps of grass in the desert valley. At least you have company, right? Surely the card is a joke, right?
You decide to put it back in and place it back on the shrine. The next sucker deserves to get trolled, too.
In the far-off distance you make out an enormous factory. Smoke billows out from the mammoth sized chimneys. You can almost make out the smell. Smells like BACON.
Wow. All you can eat bacon and lamb. You feel glad that you played it safe and have all the company you could ever ask for.
2)The Quest for Glory aka The Road Less Traveled.
It is the right path, both in DESTINATION and DECISION. The problem is it is DISGUISED as the IMPOSSIBLE, HARDER PATH.
glory -n. – high renown or honor won by notable achievements
It is the harder path, a steep uphill climb full of obstacles, treacherous steps, bears and wolves, poisoned plants and natural hazards.
It requires discipline and determination. Physical and mental grit. Proper planning and execution. The peak isn’t visible.
Worst of all, you might not make it. You might fall of a steep cliff. Bears might eat you. You might starve to death.
Nothing is guaranteed in the Quest for Glory. There is a real chance you might fail.
At this point this probably sounds like a terrible deal. I must do all this work, put in all the effort, and the result isn’t even guaranteed.
That sounds like a bad deal.
Well…. HERE’S THE REALITY:
Columbus risked “falling off the edge of the earth” to discover America and become fabulously wealthy.
The Founding Fathers risked their LIVES because their FAITH and DETERMINATION in making their idea a REALITY was COMPLETE.
Thanks to them the world experienced a complete revolution – the likes of which had never been
Thomas Edison & his employees FAILED 10,000 times because they knew…. they only need to succeed ONCE.
All these individuals achieved GLORY.
They achieved glory because they were willing to LAY EVERYTHING ON THE LINE and begin the steep climb uphill.
A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single step.
The climb is exceptionally hard, the destination is not visible.
The rewards are PRICELESS…. If you have the discipline to start climbing and you can bear the temporary discomfort.
The road less traveled is Lonely. Unforgiving. Harsh.
Finally, years from now you reach the peak…the one you weren’t sure even existed.
You’re greeted by silence. You were the lone wolf. You look around and see no treasure of any kind.
You are greeted by SILENCE and SOLITUDE.
You’ve been robbed…or have you?
You think about all the challenges you faced, the painful FAILURES you learned from, the DISCIPLINE you FORCED on yourself, the DIFFICULTY you overcame.
At the top of the peak there is a small pool of water. You look in and drink some, parched from your lifelong pursuit.
You stare at your reflection. It’s been years since you got a good look at your face.
You departed a boy. The man staring at you seems alien, unfamiliar. Weathered by
Suddenly, it hits you. Like a BOLT of LIGHTNING.
The real prize was the character you forged along the way. The person you became.
You realize by taking the difficult route, you’ve become a SUCCESFUL Lone Wolf.
You see a treasure chest full of riches beyond imagining. Unspoiled. It’s covered in dust.
Almost like it’s been untouched for thousand of years.
You look down from the peak of the mountain.
The view at the top is lonely, but breathtaking.
In the distance, you suddenly spot the largest MOB of people you’ve ever seen. There must be millions of them.
They are congregated in a desert valley. Some are fighting, some are drunk, some are procrastinating. Some are dead – of a broken heart and failed dreams.
But all are sad. They chose the easy route. They sold themselves on the easy path.
They didn’t know the price was a LIFETIME of mediocrity.
Don’t let it be said of you that you played it safe. Let it be said that you took the hard road.
Despite the risks, despite the failure’s, despite everyone who called you crazy, despite the worthless JUDAS “Friends” and “Family” who said they were only looking out for you.
While oozing with ENVY.
Take the path of the LONE WOLF, not the SHEEP.